‘Twas the night before my first Christmas without you.

I was so heartbroken I didn’t know what to do.

The stockings were hung on the fireplace with care.

But one was missing and without it, the mantle seemed bare.

Our son was nestled snug in our bed.

While visions of Christmas with Daddy played in his head.

And I was wrapping, no sleep to be foreseen.

A tear in my eye, a slightly dreary scene.

When suddenly, just on the corner, what did I see?

But a shadow of you sitting by our tree.

It passed by in an instant, it happened so quick.

I knew in a moment it was a memory of Rick.

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Your eyes how they sparkled, your laugh was so merry.

Your cheeks were rosy, and your nose like a cherry.

You used to get annoyed and acted like it cut to the quick,

When I said I thought that you looked like St. Nick.

But you had the best laugh that came from your belly,

That, just like Santa’s, shook like a bowl full of jelly.

But honestly, I loved you from your toes to your head.

And you held my heart from the moment we wed.

I thought about our first Christmas and your first one as a dad.

This one without you was feeling quite sad.

Then I began thinking of Christmas for you,

Spending the day with Jesus and all the saints too!

Singing happy birthday throughout Heaven’s bright land,

Must be amazing accompanied by an angel band.

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I can only imagine the joy on your face,

As you stroll the streets of Heaven (knowing you, it’s more like a race).

But what a gift it is to think of you without a care.

And if you couldn’t be here, I am glad you are there.

With Jesus, you are smiling and telling Him now,

Heaven could be better and showing Him how.

‘Cuz that’s what you did here, you made things improve.

And with you gone, I have a lot to prove.

I want to make you proud and raise our son right.

So one day we will join you and maybe then Christmas again will be a delight

But as of right now Christmas here feels a bit hollow,

Because you were always a tough act to follow.

So even though I have peace, I also have sorrow,

And I miss you right now and for every tomorrow.

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But although I miss you, it only feels right . . . 

To cherish your memory on this bittersweet Christmas night.

And the last thing I will say, as it’s well past eleven,

Merry Christmas to you on your first one in Heaven!

Based upon “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” also known as “The Night Before Christmas” (1823) by Clement Moore

Originally published on the author’s blog

Valeria Tipton

I am Valeria Tipton but my favorite name by far is mommy. I am a 35-year-old widow with a 5-year-old son. Together we are navigating the unexpected loss of my husband, but we are determined to find the hallelujah during this heartbreaking moment. I decided to write about this journey as transparently as possible so when God moves in our lives it would be evident that He is faithful in His promises.